Debate and Discussion

Proof of God?
TheMidge28 at 9:27PM, Sept. 8, 2008
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arteestx
Look, I think it'd be pretty easy to convince a blind man that even though he can't see, others can. And once you establish that, then giving the blind experiences with color is possible.

exactly. ;)
__________________________

As I said in an earlier post, God can change.
Why is that so much a roadblock?
Yeah he did things this way back in the day, and now he does things this way.
Are you wanting him to go on a holy rampage making Morton's salt shakers out of the whole East coast? Do you want him to play DJ with the sun and scratch a tune out?

As to why God does things differently, I don't know.
Ask him.

As to the analogy of the father and child, if the child leaves like in the parable of the prodigal son or runs away and wants to do things on his own, what help would the child really accept if the father came running after him and try to force him to stay? What if the father dragged him back to the home and told him he couldn't leave? What if the father gave him all these rules and said you follow these or you get the switch? What if the father tried their hardest to raise the child right and good but the child just said screw this I'm out of here?

I have a daughter. She's almost 2. She is quite independent. I try to help her do things. She says no and wants to do it herself. I try to teach her. She says no and throws down the book and grabs a different one. I try to feed her. She says no and throws it on the ground. I try to change her diaper and teach her to use the potty… you get the picture. Believe me, being a father is hard. And that independence, that spirit, that free will is definitely exercised. And as for a kiss goodnight before bed and hug, forget it. She wants it her way on her terms.
So now more than ever I can understand God being there wanting to help and the child saying, “NO!”
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
ozoneocean at 10:15PM, Sept. 8, 2008
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People don't need to post multiple times in a row… just edit it all into one :)
————————————-

I wonder if you could actually have a “Christian”, that followed the humanist, compassionate philosophy of Jesus Christ, without also believing in all the mythology? Make the human example your “god” without the need to bestow actual divinity upon him?

We have some (not many) Buddhists that do that with Buddha, and Confuionists do it that way too (conversely, some philosphers had similar cults, Pythagoras for one). Does a philosophy with a role model at its centre need that mythology in order to prove its worth and help you follow it and be a good person?

Why do you need proof in the first place? Just be good, follow the examples, see the myths for what they are and use the stories therein positively. :)

Surely, divinity, whether real or not, is totally irrelevant to your life? If you're going to be good, especially if it's because of some teaching like Christianity, then BE good, don't be some sad bastard and need and expect affirmation… Surely that sort of thing goes against religious teaching. In most religions actually: You're not meant to seek proof, miracles, expect rewards, thanks (from the people you help, the gods or anyone).

For the aspects of religions that seem to emphasis some personal experience with the spiritual or miracles, you'll notice that stuff is rather peripheral, is added on later by rather wide eyed gullible type people, or if it was there at the start it's a rather simple, primitive aspect obviously carried over from some earlier tradition….
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Hawk at 12:47AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
Perhaps I am feeling overly sensitive today - I do have such days - but I rather feel mocked for starting this thread, and that seems like something that could have been skipped. I start threads that interest me - if they do not interest you, why read them or post in them at all? Surely the “debate and discussion” part of the forum is voluntary?

But I notice that mockery is a la mode these days. I look forward to it falling from grace yet again.

I assure you that no mockery was intended. In fact the last line about proof of God in the Drunk Duck forums was meant to be lighthearted joke but I left out the trite little smiley faces at the end.

And Due East actually interpreted my intention well and I liked how she explained it. But to further smooth things over I'll just say that you actually started this thread rather well (better than most people do on this topic), but it has become pretty evident that even the most interesting beginnings and the cleverest variations of a topic often spiral into the very same circular discussion, despite anyone's best intentions.

If you still feel mocked, I aplogize. I think maybe I came off a bit gruff because my simple text didn't indicate that I'm not upset or angry, just fully aware that we've been here several times in Drunk Duck history.

arteestx
But I guess that sort of tolerance doesn't apply to moderators, eh? Must be nice.

Wow, nice way to blow what I said out of proportion and twist its intent.

Look at it this way: The Debate and Discussion forum seems to get more leeway than other forums. In Media Discussion, if you create a thread about Go-Bots and there's already a Go-Bots thread several lines down, your thread will be locked. That doesn't quite happen here. Take a look at these threads:
Proof of God?
The Atheists Are Brainwashing Your Children!
Evolution versus Religion?
Christians tried to preach religion at my school-made everyone angry.
Religion in education
Creationism and other Bible stories.

These are threads that turned into the old Atheism vs. Theism argument from just the last handful of months. You better believe there's more if you go back through our old pages. So why not lock each new “God or No God” topic that pops up? They each seem to have an original intent or new twist on the subject when they start out. I wish they retained that intent throughout. Some do better than others. I'm just saying that I want us to be less redundant in this forum.

The main point of my post is that we either need to start looking at new subjects or do a better job of not reverting to the same argument again and again. I don't blame StaceyMontgomery for starting what would be an interesting variation of the topic. I blame the fact that you can only get so many pages of forum text before you run out of Stacey's originally intended discussion into what we've already discussed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
ozoneocean at 1:31AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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Hawk
These are threads that turned into the old Atheism vs. Theism argument from just the last handful of months.
I agree Hawk.

Debates twist and turn and go in interesting directions, so telling people to get back on topic is usually quite harmful, but due to the circumstances you mention, it's extremely pertinent here!

People should GET BACK to the topic and leave over the old argument about Atheism and non-Atheism.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
SpANG at 6:46AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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ozoneocean
Hawk
These are threads that turned into the old Atheism vs. Theism argument from just the last handful of months.
I agree Hawk.

Debates twist and turn and go in interesting directions, so telling people to get back on topic is usually quite harmful, but due to the circumstances you mention, it's extremely pertinent here!

People should GET BACK to the topic and leave over the old argument about Atheism and non-Atheism.

Get back on topic? When I see these threads, AND their titles, the topic IS ALWAYS about what people believe vs. what other people don't. How is any of this not “on topic”?

“The Atheists Are Brainwashing Your Children!” is not an atheist/non-atheist thread? Exactly how? What about all the other threads? Even in this thread, the original question was posed “Do you need proof of God?”. The very question posed prompts atheists to say “Yes, I do need proof, and here's why….” and non-atheists to say “No, I don't, and here's why….”, or a whole “the definition of proof is debatable” argument.

I agree that these threads are tiresome after awhile, but let's not try to dress up a thread as something it's not.

So… lock the religion threads from now on, because they go nowhere. But we'll also have to lock any other argument that goes nowhere too (see POLITICS, GLOBAL WARMING, etc.)Oh, but they aren't as bad? Just wait until the election is over.

As a matter of fact, why even have a D&D forum then? If the goal of the forum is to try and sway others opinions, then we are all failing miserably. If the goal of the forum is to have a debate/discussion with no determined winner, then it's just fine.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
bravo1102 at 7:57AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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dueeast
I've already gone quite a few rounds of discussions with you, so I'll keep this brief. :)

It is a quandry to me how you, who clearly don't believe in God, still must refer to Him in not only a mocking way but at the same time insist on referring to God as female. If that is what you believe, then we are not talking about the same God.

God throughout the texts of both the Hebrews and the Christians referred to Himself as male and never to the contrary. It is a shame that the only way that you can refer to God is to refer to Him, which you don't believe in except to mock, as something He is not. Isn't that some kind of convoluted philosophical double-negative?


For the She, I grew up in the Feminist 1970-80s and loved the work of Pagels et. al. especially one article called “Whatever Happened to God the Mother?”
Any indepth examination of the evoltuion of the beliefs among the Hebrews comes back to the concept of Yahweh may have had a spouse. It may only be an accident of language that Yahweh is “he” (or that he is a sky god and traditionally they are He and the earth is She or maybe the men are men and women are chattel society of the ancient Hebrews) In First and Second Century Christianity women were equal, even as clergy. Then the fist came down. Welcome to Catholicism. With a history like that it is so tragic that it demands parody as a way to deal with the pain.

1) If She existed God has a sense of humor She doesn't mind being mocked a little. If I accept the Christian view of God as currently expressed She loves me as I am and that includes my sense of humor. And She has a very active sense of humor Herself. Doesn't unconditonal love include humor? Your definition doesn't include that? I feel sorry for you. :) Comparing the original Hebrew to Greek sources it is amazing how many puns there are in the Old Testament. If it is the Word of God, God has a sense of humor.


2) As I said I do not accept the current conception of god as a deity that needs be concerned with my genetalia because She is the wholly other. If logic does not suffice to understand Her than nothing I can think of can explain or comprehend Her which makes gender our conception not Hers. Since to me this concept called God is not a deity I am an atheist because I do not accept a deity.

3) To insist that just because the Bible says God is a he, he must be, ignores all the other times Yahweh infers he is one of many gods. Why should the gender matter? God is God and beyond our concept of gender. It doesn't matter. Besides in Hebrew women are chattel so fo course Yahweh is male. (All it means is I am, that's a pun in Hebrew, there's that sense of humor again)

4) I uncatagorically reject your narrow Christian Biblical concept of God as a mythology built up by a pastoral people living in Judea and Israel to make them the chosen ones as opposed to all their bigger and stronger neighbors. Religious history is a hobby. You can believe in whatever you want because people believe in things that cannot be proven regardless of any proof presented to them. (Cognitive dissonance)and I respect that.

If we cannot laugh at ourselves and with others then life is honestly not worth living. Too many people see that every day and end their life.

DISCLAIMER: Because everytime I read the Gospels I weep because of how deeply the words of Jesus move me (but not Sun Tzu, he's funny) I do NOT mean any disrespect to any faith. If That is what you believe and if it makes your life and that of those around you better and happier that is wonderful and I respect that. That I have my own skewed view of things I do not deny and I'm merely expressing them as the smartass I am with a jab in the ribs and a wink. Now go out there love your fellows and laugh. lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Hawk at 9:39AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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SpANG
Get back on topic? When I see these threads, AND their titles, the topic IS ALWAYS about what people believe vs. what other people don't. How is any of this not “on topic”?

It's not like somebody started a thread about proving God's existence and we're now talking about bicycle horns. It's about how a thread entitled “Creationism and other Bible Stories” inevitably turns into this discussion:

“You can't prove god doesn't exist”
“You can't prove he does.”

At that point we're technically on the topic of religion but not the original intent of the topic.

Look, don't worry about it though… I'm not locking the religion threads. I'll let them go where they always do, unless they turn into a fight. From now on these threads will end when their debaters get tired of them. I really shouldn't have spoken up in the first place.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
arteestx at 10:13AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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TheMidge28
arteestx
Look, I think it'd be pretty easy to convince a blind man that even though he can't see, others can. And once you establish that, then giving the blind experiences with color is possible.

exactly. ;)
Exactly *what*, though? You asked if makes sense to prove the existence of and/or debate the color blue, as an analogy for God. I've talked of scientific evidence and measurable definitions, and above I refer to the ability to scientifically prove to a blind person that I can see {whatever actions the blind person makes, I can report what he's doing, and I can repeat that hundreds of times; it requires no faith, no mystery, no belief, no “just trust me”}. If you are making the analogy that you have “sight” of God that I don't, then what is your scientific evidence (which is what this analogy is predicated on)?


TheMidge28
As to why God does things differently, I don't know.
To me, the answer seems obvious. God didn't change, our understanding of God changed. I see the Bible documenting how human understanding of God has evolved, from a God with human qualities, not all good (flood the world and commit genocide, order the killing of captured women and children, etc.) into a God that still acted in the world but more supportive of those on his side (the story of David; Shadrach, Meshach, Abendigo in the furnace) and later into a father-like God of immense love and forgiveness, exemplified in Jesus. To me, that's the simplest answer that makes the most sense. I have my answer for now, but I'm always open to what others think, esp believers of the Bible.


TheMidge28
I have a daughter. ….She wants it her way on her terms. So now more than ever I can understand God being there wanting to help and the child saying, “NO!”
I can definitely relate to all that you say. And to be sure, the nature of free will in religion is not easy to understand. But when it comes to proof and faith, has your daughter ever wondered if she had a father? Does your daughter need blind faith that you love her or would do anything for her, or have you demonstrated your love to her time and time again, even when she's being pigheaded? Does your daughter doubt you exist?


Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
dueeast at 10:20AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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Simply put, Bravo, I believe you're entitled to envision whatever version of whatever deity you deem fit and if that makes you happy, then please, by all means, enjoy and explore to your heart's content. I mean that, no sarcasm intended.

But we are not talking about the same God. You have proven it to me beyond of a shadow of a doubt. And that's cool with me.

*Extends hand to shake and agree to disagree on this topic* B)

Ronson: I don't think you are understanding my posts and I'm not sure how to convey what I mean to you. I am not threatened or offended by what you write or the views you represent. I was shocked by the bluntness of your suggestion but that is all. And I don't agree with many of your assumptions and positions. That happens…

I'd like to suggest that we agree to disagree, too.

bravo1102
dueeast
I've already gone quite a few rounds of discussions with you, so I'll keep this brief. :)

It is a quandry to me how you, who clearly don't believe in God, still must refer to Him in not only a mocking way but at the same time insist on referring to God as female. If that is what you believe, then we are not talking about the same God.

God throughout the texts of both the Hebrews and the Christians referred to Himself as male and never to the contrary. It is a shame that the only way that you can refer to God is to refer to Him, which you don't believe in except to mock, as something He is not. Isn't that some kind of convoluted philosophical double-negative?


For the She, I grew up in the Feminist 1970-80s and loved the work of Pagels et. al. especially one article called “Whatever Happened to God the Mother?”
Any indepth examination of the evoltuion of the beliefs among the Hebrews comes back to the concept of Yahweh may have had a spouse. It may only be an accident of language that Yahweh is “he” (or that he is a sky god and traditionally they are He and the earth is She or maybe the men are men and women are chattel society of the ancient Hebrews) In First and Second Century Christianity women were equal, even as clergy. Then the fist came down. Welcome to Catholicism. With a history like that it is so tragic that it demands parody as a way to deal with the pain.

1) If She existed God has a sense of humor She doesn't mind being mocked a little. If I accept the Christian view of God as currently expressed She loves me as I am and that includes my sense of humor. And She has a very active sense of humor Herself. Doesn't unconditonal love include humor? Your definition doesn't include that? I feel sorry for you. :) Comparing the original Hebrew to Greek sources it is amazing how many puns there are in the Old Testament. If it is the Word of God, God has a sense of humor.


2) As I said I do not accept the current conception of god as a deity that needs be concerned with my genetalia because She is the wholly other. If logic does not suffice to understand Her than nothing I can think of can explain or comprehend Her which makes gender our conception not Hers. Since to me this concept called God is not a deity I am an atheist because I do not accept a deity.

3) To insist that just because the Bible says God is a he, he must be, ignores all the other times Yahweh infers he is one of many gods. Why should the gender matter? God is God and beyond our concept of gender. It doesn't matter. Besides in Hebrew women are chattel so fo course Yahweh is male. (All it means is I am, that's a pun in Hebrew, there's that sense of humor again)

4) I uncatagorically reject your narrow Christian Biblical concept of God as a mythology built up by a pastoral people living in Judea and Israel to make them the chosen ones as opposed to all their bigger and stronger neighbors. Religious history is a hobby. You can believe in whatever you want because people believe in things that cannot be proven regardless of any proof presented to them. (Cognitive dissonance)and I respect that.

If we cannot laugh at ourselves and with others then life is honestly not worth living. Too many people see that every day and end their life.

DISCLAIMER: Because everytime I read the Gospels I weep because of how deeply the words of Jesus move me (but not Sun Tzu, he's funny) I do NOT mean any disrespect to any faith. If That is what you believe and if it makes your life and that of those around you better and happier that is wonderful and I respect that. That I have my own skewed view of things I do not deny and I'm merely expressing them as the smartass I am with a jab in the ribs and a wink. Now go out there love your fellows and laugh. lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
TheMidge28 at 5:32PM, Sept. 9, 2008
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arteestx
Exactly *what*, though? You asked if makes sense to prove the existence of and/or debate the color blue, as an analogy for God. I've talked of scientific evidence and measurable definitions, and above I refer to the ability to scientifically prove to a blind person that I can see {whatever actions the blind person makes, I can report what he's doing, and I can repeat that hundreds of times; it requires no faith, no mystery, no belief, no “just trust me”}. If you are making the analogy that you have “sight” of God that I don't, then what is your scientific evidence (which is what this analogy is predicated on)?
I was being silly, actually, hence the ;)!

arteestx
To me, the answer seems obvious. God didn't change, our understanding of God changed. I see the Bible documenting how human understanding of God has evolved, from a God with human qualities, not all good (flood the world and commit genocide, order the killing of captured women and children, etc.) into a God that still acted in the world but more supportive of those on his side (the story of David; Shadrach, Meshach, Abendigo in the furnace) and later into a father-like God of immense love and forgiveness, exemplified in Jesus. To me, that's the simplest answer that makes the most sense. I have my answer for now, but I'm always open to what others think, esp believers of the Bible.
That's pretty insightful. Never thought of it that way. And can totally see that.
Or maybe its also more of God revealing himself as humans developed.
Either way, thanks for your interpretation. It has a lot of value to me. :)

arteestx
But when it comes to proof and faith, has your daughter ever wondered if she had a father? Does your daughter need blind faith that you love her or would do anything for her, or have you demonstrated your love to her time and time again, even when she's being pigheaded? Does your daughter doubt you exist?

Hard to say. She does sometimes pretend I'm not there or hasn't heard me. lol! But as to her cognitive ability to comprehend my existence or even doubting it, I would say its hard to tell, but I know on many occasions if my wife has been late coming home from work she has cried and cried and called out to her and was brokenhearted she didn't come when she called. So that may be an example of doubt when it comes to her mom's existence. As to my love, its unconditional even if she is pig-headed. I wouldn't say she needs blind faith that I love her, she just needs to learn over time that I do, so she can trust in that love. Over time as I show my love demonstrated through out her life, my hope is that she learns she can look to me when she needs help or a shoulder to cry on.
That's how I have learned of God's love in my life. And my hope is that I can lead her by my example and in the same way point to God's example.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
Ronson at 6:16PM, Sept. 9, 2008
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The problem with this thread, Hawk, is that it hasn't devolved into calling eachother Nazis. ;) That's always a decent thread killer.

I agree to disagree with folks all the time. Have a wonderful day everyone!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
DAJB at 12:33AM, Sept. 10, 2008
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Ronson
The problem with this thread, Hawk, is that it hasn't devolved into calling eachother Nazis. ;) That's always a decent thread killer.
You're all Nazis!

There. That should do it!
;-)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
arteestx at 8:30PM, Sept. 10, 2008
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TheMidge28
arteestx
I see the Bible documenting how human understanding of God has evolved….
Or maybe its also more of God revealing himself as humans developed.
Perhaps. Although it's hard for me to wrap my head around God the father as portrayed in the parable of the Prodigal Son revealing himself to humans early in our history by committing mass genocide on a global scale through the Great Flood. It's very difficult for me to see those two gods as being one and the same. But then this viewpoint is based on the notion that you can't take the Bible literally, otherwise you have to get into the mental gymnastics that melds a God that commits genocide and orders the killing of captured women and children with the same God Jesus describes of turning the other cheek and forgiving your enemies.


TheMidge28
arteestx
But when it comes to proof and faith, has your daughter ever wondered if she had a father? …Does your daughter doubt you exist?
…I know on many occasions if my wife has been late coming home from work she has cried and cried and called out to her and was brokenhearted she didn't come when she called.
Seriously? Children learn at a *very* early age (within months according to current studies) about the permanence of objects. Children know that just because they can't see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Of course she'd be upset that she can't have her mother when she needs her. But I find it hard to believe that your daughter really thinks her mother doesn't exist at those moments. Kids don't understand conservation of mass, but they understand permanence. I mean really, your daughter knows that, right?

Oh, and you're a Nazi.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 10:40PM, Sept. 11, 2008
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SpANG
Get back on topic? When I see these threads, AND their titles, the topic IS ALWAYS about what people believe vs. what other people don't. How is any of this not “on topic”?
I don't really see how my agreeing with Hawk was up for questioning… Basically we have enough Atheist VS non-Atheist threads so let's be original here for once and actually discuss Stacey's very interesting idea of why “proof” is needed. :)

—————————–

But things have ALREADY gone off topic again, or maybe people just don't understand the topic? lol!

On the thread of the debate currently, with the “proof” angle. I don't see how the morality and logic of what's written in the Christian bible has anything to do with the existence or not of a divine being… Unless your only experience of the idea of religion has to do some parochial local modern social institution and you're extrapolating that onto the whole world and all of history? That's a bit limited wouldn't you say?

It's a recipe for irrelevance, Like the way you Keep turning this into Atheists VS non-Atheists -_-

—————————–

Ok, let's take it back then!

PROOF of the divine. Why do you need it?

-Someone like Ronson needs it because he has an evidence based conception of the world apparently. But he can explain himself better than I could.

-I don't need it, because I reason that if a divine being or beings were to exist they'd probably not have any interaction with my world in any way I could comprehend it any way, making them theoretical from my perspective regardless.

-Religious people vary: for many they look on the artefacts of their cultural tradition of religion and their experiences in that culture and its practices as proof that their god or gods are real. They need tat proof for the same reason that Ronson does- in order for the world to make sense.
The difference being in their case that they believe they have it and Ronson reasons that they don't.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Ronson at 4:28AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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ozoneocean
-Someone like Ronson needs it because he has an evidence based conception of the world apparently. But he can explain himself better than I could.

No. My stance is that the concept of God is unprovable by His/Her/Its very definition. Proving the existence or nonexistence of God is, to me, an impossible task, but if anyone thinks that we should run our government or lives according to their concept of God they should have to prove His/Her/Its existence first. Which, as I said, I think is impossible.

-Religious people vary: for many they look on the artefacts of their cultural tradition of religion and their experiences in that culture and its practices as proof that their god or gods are real. They need tat proof … in order for the world to make sense.

The difference being in their case that they believe they have it and Ronson reasons that they don't.

No, the difference is that they don't understand what proof is. Instead they give anecdotal stories and feelings. That is my only point in this thread - that proof has never and I contend will never be given for the existence of God.

Proof is not based on ones perceptions, it has a very specific definition, the very least of which is that it can be shown to others and agreed upon by all.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
StaceyMontgomery at 4:31AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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Well, let me follow up on OzO, but since this is the internet (where we call each other Nazis) let me word it in the form of a hysterical accusation:

People don't need physical scientific proof of the divine. That's an outmoded concept, most people are much more sophisticated than that. If God wanted to reveal his presence that way, we wouldn't have gravity and other laws of nature - God would just obviously do everything, everytime.

But that's not what happened, right? We have this wonderful Universe that works in a way that can be seen as evidence of God's generosity or, well, not. And most people understand that the real proof of God - if there is any - will be found in our personal experience of God, of grace, and of the divinity in each other.

So why do people keep demanding that they can find proof of god in physics or in fossils or in odd shapes on toast?

Apparently, they are all just crazy fudamentalist people with an agenda - to push their ideas of “proof” cynically, dishonestly. It's about fooling the masses and pulling the wool over the multitude's eyes. It's all a cheap, cynical ruse and it deserves nothing but our outright contempt and mostly, loud laughter.

And let's face it - if you are looking for “proof of God” in the fossil record, then maybe you are NOT looking in people's hearts anymore. Maybe some people do not want us looking ino their hearts. Maybe they know we would not like what we would find.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
ozoneocean at 5:04AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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Ronson
ozoneocean
The difference being in their case that they believe they have it and Ronson reasons that they don't.
No, the difference is that they don't understand what proof is. Instead they give anecdotal stories and feelings. That is my only point in this thread - that proof has never and I contend will never be given for the existence of God.
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but you're doing exactly what I said: reasoning that they don't have proof. And you explained yourself better than I could, like I said.

Two outta two baby! :)

Stace; lol ^_^

I seriously think that if people need to look that hard for proof of their god, and people do, then they're on the road to becoming like the rest of us; not believing.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
DAJB at 5:48AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
So why do people keep demanding that they can find proof of god in physics or in fossils or in odd shapes on toast?
Mmmmm - toast! Forget the odd shapes. If I was ever going to believe in a God (which is, admittedly, pretty unlikely but if I were) … the existence of toast would definitely be up there as a pretty solid proof!
;-)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
dueeast at 8:54AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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For the record, if someone goes around telling everyone they had a vision of the Virgin Mary or the face of Jesus in a tortilla or a piece of toast, this tells me a few things:

A. That person is superstitious;
B. They have no shame;
C. They are attention-starved; and
D. They are not being spiritual or truly seeking the kingdom of God.

For a person who is confident in what they believe and what they have experienced, it's enough to have the Holy Spirit. And the challenge each day is to try to follow the doctrine of the Bible and the laws of the land.

So I agree with you, Stacey. If a person needs that kind of “proof,” then they really don't believe in what they say they believe in. They're crying out for attention and unfortunately, for better or worse, they will get it!

As far as fossil records and people not wanting you to know what's in their hearts, there will always be people like that. But I don't call those Christians, I call those hypocrites and sometimes deceivers. And yes, I make those distinctions. I know real Christians and I grew up surrounded by too many hypocrites and unfortunately, I've met and had to deal with some deceivers, too. So I know the difference! :)

StaceyMontgomery
Well, let me follow up on OzO, but since this is the internet (where we call each other Nazis) let me word it in the form of a hysterical accusation:

People don't need physical scientific proof of the divine. That's an outmoded concept, most people are much more sophisticated than that. If God wanted to reveal his presence that way, we wouldn't have gravity and other laws of nature - God would just obviously do everything, everytime.

But that's not what happened, right? We have this wonderful Universe that works in a way that can be seen as evidence of God's generosity or, well, not. And most people understand that the real proof of God - if there is any - will be found in our personal experience of God, of grace, and of the divinity in each other.

So why do people keep demanding that they can find proof of god in physics or in fossils or in odd shapes on toast?

Apparently, they are all just crazy fudamentalist people with an agenda - to push their ideas of “proof” cynically, dishonestly. It's about fooling the masses and pulling the wool over the multitude's eyes. It's all a cheap, cynical ruse and it deserves nothing but our outright contempt and mostly, loud laughter.

And let's face it - if you are looking for “proof of God” in the fossil record, then maybe you are NOT looking in people's hearts anymore. Maybe some people do not want us looking ino their hearts. Maybe they know we would not like what we would find.


last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
TheMidge28 at 2:32PM, Sept. 12, 2008
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Ozone
But things have ALREADY gone off topic again, or maybe people just don't understand the topic?

It's a recipe for irrelevance, Like the way you Keep turning this into Atheists VS non-Atheists -_-

Who are you addressing?
I am dense. So I'm not sure if you mean arteestx's and I's discussion or someone else's. :(

Ozone
On the thread of the debate currently, with the “proof” angle. I don't see how the morality and logic of what's written in the Christian bible has anything to do with the existence or not of a divine being… Unless your only experience of the idea of religion has to do some parochial local modern social institution and you're extrapolating that onto the whole world and all of history? That's a bit limited wouldn't you say?

Couldn't someone take the same stance on any other given paradigm?

I understand you don't hold the Christian paradigm as relevant but for those who have experienced this unprovable god, the bible and the framework that it exposits within holds much merit and relevance and proof.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Just throwing one other item out there. A majority of the world's population doesn't run on a high deductive and logic driven framework. Most run at a status quo. Just enough to function. Not many delve into these deep waters and debate these topics. Most do what is next and take what's given to them. I would love more people to question more and discuss more, but the fact of the matter is most don't.

“What does that have to do with anything”, you might ask.

Think about for a while.
It will come to you.
_______________________________________________

@ arteestx…

If I'm a Nazi, then your Mother Theresa! lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
ozoneocean at 12:19AM, Sept. 13, 2008
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Midge- that was addressed generally, not specifically, which is why I didn't list anyone.

The point I made about Christianity was more towards rebuffing the negative; people who use inconsistencies in the Christian bible specifically to support an Atheist position in an argument… It's off-topic, but refuting the Christian bible isn't Atheist, that's just anti-Christianity (in an intellectual sense, not an idealogical one mind you!)
———————-

As for the rest… In order to function within a system you need to develop some kind of understanding of it. The bigger questions about life are just part of that. It's all difficult and hard to understand really, but both with religion and science, others have done the thinking for us. For many, religious knowledge is still more accessible because it's part of their social framework. More modern, science derived knowledge isn't as easy to digest (most scientists are bad communicators), or come by and it changes all the time.

So the “status quo” prevails. :)
And “people need proof” because… they're used to relying on their senses. Probably as simple as that.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Ronson at 9:25AM, Sept. 13, 2008
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dueeast
For the record, if someone goes around telling everyone they had a vision of the Virgin Mary or the face of Jesus in a tortilla or a piece of toast, this tells me a few things:

A. That person is superstitious;
B. They have no shame;
C. They are attention-starved; and
D. They are not being spiritual or truly seeking the kingdom of God.

I think that A is definitely true. B, C & D can only be judged on an indivdual basis. I do think you're missing one:

E. The inability to analyze rationally cause and effect.

…but that applies to more than the Virgin in toast people. ;)

The human brain is designed to see patterns with little to know information to draw from. Seeing a face is very simple, as it really only takes a few dots or dashes to do:

. .
-

Imagining these random patterns into a face is a gradeschool art project (did you do it too back then? The teacher tells you to scribble on a piece of paper, then create objects by the random lines and intersections…no? just me? really?).

But if you are unable (or unwilling) to first think “Is this occurance, no matter how improbable, able to be explained within the rules of our physical universe?”, then you will have to create a much more complex system of explanations.

…and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how religious and supernatural beliefs are formed. It's why organized religions eschew rational thought that disproves their beliefs. It's why organized religions schizm into various slightly different organized religions, and almost never combine.

And it's why actual proof of a God is impossible.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
dueeast at 9:39AM, Sept. 13, 2008
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Ah, Ronson, I was so enjoying your reply until you directed it to your usual box argument. This is where your analysis is not rational enough. Your bias seeps through into a blanket statement.

You assume that all religious and supernatural beliefs are formed through superstition and connect the dots (to the “wrong” conclusion) mentality, not only implying that all religious people are superstitious but that all religious people are in essence, unable to think rationally and analyze. That is clearly a great example of faulty logic with pre-set conclusions justified with your opinion, but it is not backed up by fact or by even a scientific poll. You just jumped to that conclusion and say because you are rational, it is so.

The fact that little ol' me is able to analyze your thought processes and draw a different conclusion based on the available evidence (your post), then I think that clearly shows that I, a Christian, cannot be so easily swayed by connect the dots and that I have the ability to analyze rationally. I just don't agree with you. It took a LOT to persuade me to become a Christian, over months. And a lot has helped to continue to justify my belief in the God I know exists. I don't expect you to believe me, but you really have no right to speak for me.

Again, I'm not offended. Analyzing these thought processes is interesting… :)


Ronson
But if you are unable (or unwilling) to first think “Is this occurance, no matter how improbable, able to be explained within the rules of our physical universe?”, then you will have to create a much more complex system of explanations.

…and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how religious and supernatural beliefs are formed. It's why organized religions eschew rational thought that disproves their beliefs. It's why organized religions schizm into various slightly different organized religions, and almost never combine.

And it's why actual proof of a God is impossible.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
StaceyMontgomery at 9:46AM, Sept. 13, 2008
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Ronson
…and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how religious and supernatural beliefs are formed. It's why organized religions eschew rational thought that disproves their beliefs. It's why organized religions schizm into various slightly different organized religions, and almost never combine.

And it's why actual proof of a God is impossible.


hmm, that's a step too far for me. The fact that humans tend to find order in chaos (even if the order is not there) is not a reason to say that “actual proof of God is impossible.” I do not follow your reasoning at all. For all you and I know, we will discover tomorrow that the galaxic superclusters are arranged to spell out “I AM” in ancient hebrew. That will settle the issue for me, I promise you.

Also, I want to step in and say that many organized religions have been very kind to rational thought. You have not hung out with many Jesuits, have you? I do not think it is essentially irrational to believe in God. If you have had a personal experience of God that seemed very convincing, than it is quite rational to follow where that leads (just as it is rational for me, who has not had such an experience, to discount it).

However, I will concede that there are many religious groups all over the world that are, essetnially, opposed to the whole idea of the Enlightenment - and they do seek to make it appear that religion and rationality are at odds, because they think that will help them come to power. I am a loud opponent of such people, and I consider them terribly dangerous and evil. I am referring here to all manner of fundamentalists. You can find my endless angry rants about them all over this forum, actually.

However, I do not think it is fair (or helpful) to lump all religious people and all religions in with them. Most of the religious people I have met are perfectly good at rational thought, and approach their religious beliefs in mostly rational ways - and what human can say they are always rational?

Also - I think it is only fair to note that all manner of organizations, as they grow, tend to shism much more than they recombine. Lesbian activist groups do this, for instance, and so do Science Fiction Fandom groups and Role Playing Groups (I'm just mentioning ones I have personal knowledge of here).


But other than those points I totally agree with you, so you are not a Nazi.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
arteestx at 2:27PM, Sept. 13, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
Ronson
And it's why actual proof of a God is impossible.
If you have had a personal experience of God that seemed very convincing, than it is quite rational to follow where that leads (just as it is rational for me, who has not had such an experience, to discount it).
I agree that believing in religion is not inherently irrational, for the very reason Stacey articulates.

To me, however, the whole notion that God is unprovable is something I can't agree with. If something exists, it should be measurable at some point. Maybe we don't have the right instruments, maybe we don't even know what to look for right now, but at some level, anything that physically exists and/or physically interacts with our universe should be detectable in some way now or in the future. Whether we're talking about proving the color blue exists, that emotions exist, that someone loves someone else, there should be SOME way to detect it.

Maybe it's not conclusive (is that rush of hormones when you're near someone love, a sickness, or some other emotion?), and maybe we don't have the ability or current understanding to find it (just as ancient people did not have instruments to actually find atoms, although the idea was proposed). But if it physically exists, it should be detectable and ultimately proveable. If it's impossible to detect, or if it doesn't physically exist, then what does the word “exist” mean?


Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
Ronson at 8:00PM, Sept. 13, 2008
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You all bring up interesting points, but none of them actually are based on anything more than your feelings … possibly feelings that religion is true, possibly just a feeling that denying religion is true is rude. So first I'll clarify myself:

Religion is fine, but will always lack proof. It is based on the unexplained, not upon the real and studied. Sure, some religions are less strict than others, but at some point they require a suspension of disbelief that comes with assuming that if you don't know something that's where God is.

Jesuits are much less strict than say evangelical Christians, but ultimately their belief system is based on an unprovable entity.

Anyway…to the comments…

You assume that all religious and supernatural beliefs are formed through superstition and connect the dots (to the “wrong” conclusion) mentality, not only implying that all religious people are superstitious but that all religious people are in essence, unable to think rationally and analyze. That is clearly a great example of faulty logic with pre-set conclusions justified with your opinion, but it is not backed up by fact or by even a scientific poll. You just jumped to that conclusion and say because you are rational, it is so.

Not always unable to think rationally and analyze, often unwilling to. But you are correct, this is my opinion and the only way to prove it would be to disprove that every conclusion religions come to has a more rational answer. But then the whole point of scientific analysis is backwards. I don't have to disprove God any more than I do unicorns … and I would not be able to do either. There's a very improbable chance that I'm wrong about God (or unicorns), but that doesn't mean I have to prove anything.

The fact that little ol' me is able to analyze your thought processes and draw a different conclusion based on the available evidence (your post), then I think that clearly shows that I, a Christian, cannot be so easily swayed by connect the dots and that I have the ability to analyze rationally. I just don't agree with you. It took a LOT to persuade me to become a Christian, over months. And a lot has helped to continue to justify my belief in the God I know exists. I don't expect you to believe me, but you really have no right to speak for me.

Again, I'm not offended. Analyzing these thought processes is interesting…

My post is in no way evidence of anything, it's just my opinion. I don't think it even passes muster as a theory (but I'm certainly not the first to pose it).

But here's the skinny: You can't even allow for the possibility that I even have a toehold on possibly being right. No religious person can. They all live within the confines of their perceptions. Somehow, they come to the conclusion that they - and those who follow their faiths in similar fashion - have the answers to unknowable things.

You, on the other hand, malign those who find Jesus in their toast. That's interesting, because just like against atheism, you are against their faith. It doesn't measure up to your standards, or it flies in the face of your belief system. Therefore it's ridiculous.

But why? Surely God COULD put faces in food, right?

Moving on…

hmm, that's a step too far for me. The fact that humans tend to find order in chaos (even if the order is not there) is not a reason to say that “actual proof of God is impossible.”

My opinion is that God is only the impossible, therefore He is unprovable. God is, in essence, science proofed.

I do not follow your reasoning at all. For all you and I know, we will discover tomorrow that the galaxic superclusters are arranged to spell out “I AM” in ancient hebrew. That will settle the issue for me, I promise you.

Not me. When you consider that it is still possible that an arrangement like that is within the realm of possibility and coincidence, I would require more. A God who just leaves a note like that is still just Jesus in toast.

Also, I want to step in and say that many organized religions have been very kind to rational thought. You have not hung out with many Jesuits, have you? I do not think it is essentially irrational to believe in God. If you have had a personal experience of God that seemed very convincing, than it is quite rational to follow where that leads (just as it is rational for me, who has not had such an experience, to discount it).

My assertion is that ultimately none of our belief systems are based on rationality, but a mix between experience, knowledge and whatever we use to fill in the gaps. I do think those who have personal experience of something they decide to call God is because it's either something they really need, or a jump to a conclusion that is not analyzed rationally. Along the lines for my reasons for liking chocolate ice cream - but stronger.

However, I do not think it is fair (or helpful) to lump all religious people and all religions in with them. Most of the religious people I have met are perfectly good at rational thought, and approach their religious beliefs in mostly rational ways - and what human can say they are always rational?

None. But what amazes me is that they can be VERY rational about other religions - scientology or mormonism for example - and still not examine the basis of their own beliefs in the same manner. Why can they malign “Jesus on Toast” and extoll “There Are Things Man Was Not Meant To Know”?

Also - I think it is only fair to note that all manner of organizations, as they grow, tend to shism much more than they recombine. Lesbian activist groups do this, for instance, and so do Science Fiction Fandom groups and Role Playing Groups (I'm just mentioning ones I have personal knowledge of here).

Since all the groups you mention are based on personal beliefs - or how people prefer to be treated - I completely agree with you. This is the realm of unprovable feelings and beliefs. Analysis and rational study of them will not explain why some like Star Wars over Star Trek. It also has no use in the preferred methods for furthering the lesbian cause, since the goals are highly personal.

But you don't see the same type of schism in the sciences. Not for very long anyway. A branch of science will arise, some scientists will study it and if they conclusively prove their findings it will eventually be welcomed into mainstream scientific study. If it is unprovable, or if it is disproven, it will disappear.

But other than those points I totally agree with you, so you are not a Nazi.

That's the sweetest thing anyone on this board has said to me. :)

To me, however, the whole notion that God is unprovable is something I can't agree with. If something exists, it should be measurable at some point. Maybe we don't have the right instruments, maybe we don't even know what to look for right now, but at some level, anything that physically exists and/or physically interacts with our universe should be detectable in some way now or in the future. Whether we're talking about proving the color blue exists, that emotions exist, that someone loves someone else, there should be SOME way to detect it.

If there's a God then, by your definition, then no one has proven it. Which only reinforces my assertion that religions are essentially designed around a God that can't be studied in any rational manner.

The God you are saying could possibly maybe exist isn't a God that any existant religion has found, but rather the one that science may someday find.

Maybe it's not conclusive (is that rush of hormones when you're near someone love, a sickness, or some other emotion?), and maybe we don't have the ability or current understanding to find it (just as ancient people did not have instruments to actually find atoms, although the idea was proposed). But if it physically exists, it should be detectable and ultimately proveable. If it's impossible to detect, or if it doesn't physically exist, then what does the word “exist” mean?

More accurately, if it isn't detectable and has no physical form, why would that make it God? God is supposed to have noticeable impact upon the world, or else he's nothing.

As for love, more things are being found out about it all the time. But it does rationally make sense for a species that is as cerebral as us would have to have a mental connection that is enjoyable when finding a partner. There is also a sensory component that we're only beginning to understand. All of it is almost certainly explicable in evolutionary terms.

Religion has an explicable evolutionary cause as well. It's rooted in tribalism and in the need to fill in the gaps of our knowledge with something that makes sense to us. It helps to differentiate between us and them. It enforces rules of societal behavior. It is a useful tool.
____

I do get it, by the way. I know my way of looking at the world is not significantly more rational than many other perspectives.

But I can't shake it: To me Religion is immune from science because it's a fixed game. They make the rules, so they can prevent it from ever being analyzed. God is unprovable because that's how he is envisioned by those who believe in Him. The miracles are safely locked away in anecdotal historical accounts, contact with Him is entirely limited to the mind of the individual.

You can't prove it because it's anti-science. I don't mean against it, I mean it's the opposite of it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
dueeast at 8:23PM, Sept. 13, 2008
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Ronson, I did not malign the person who apparently needs to see to Jesus in toast. What I said is that it falls more under the need to get attention and tends to be handled in a superstitious manner. And from my perspective, that runs contrary to faith.

Could there be an exception? Of course. I believe God can do anything for whatever reason He wants to.

Do I allow any possibility that you're right concerning there not being God and that everything I believe may not be as I think it is? Yes. I did that a long time ago before you and I ever met in these forums, but long after I became a Christian (12 years ago).

But I came to this conclusion: if I am wrong, I am still a better person now for what I believe and I am a much happier person, husband and father than before I began to believe. I do not behave in the manner that I did then and my goal in this life is to be a help to my family and to others. If I can accomplish that by following some positive guidelines and examples set out in a book constructed over the course of several thousand years that came to be called the Bible, then I see no harm in that and I can live with myself. If I come to the end of my life and poof away into the universe, leaving a body behind, so be it. It's been a good life and I'd be content.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Ronson at 9:22PM, Sept. 13, 2008
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Whatever gets you through the night. I get that.

Just as long as you don't claim “proof” :)

I do think there's a bit of a double-standard (they don't understand God like I do) but won't force the issue.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
KingRidley at 6:45PM, Sept. 28, 2008
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I think that physics, science, and reality itself is proof of God. Not because it exists.

Because it works.

The universe could probably exist on its own. But I sincerely don't think that anything would ever happen in it without some kind of driving power. That, and the fact that all matter wants to become balanced. That's why everything does anything, molecules and atoms trying to achieve stability and balance. If that was the only rule, then why isn't all matter some blob of super stable perfection? Why did the Big Bang happen? And why hasn't the universe broken down to achieve that stability that it once had?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
lothar at 4:32AM, Oct. 4, 2008
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KingRidley
I think that physics, science, and reality itself is proof of God. Not because it exists.

Because it works.

The universe could probably exist on its own. But I sincerely don't think that anything would ever happen in it without some kind of driving power. That, and the fact that all matter wants to become balanced. That's why everything does anything, molecules and atoms trying to achieve stability and balance. If that was the only rule, then why isn't all matter some blob of super stable perfection? Why did the Big Bang happen? And why hasn't the universe broken down to achieve that stability that it once had?

if there are infinite universes and we just happen to inhabit the one that is stable and has things like matter and the rite balance of gravity and stuff. there could be tons of other totally skrewed up universes , ones that collapse in on themselves rite after formation, ones that don't have any matter, whatever . it doesn't mean there's a creator , and it doesn't mean that we are incredibly lucky either. it just like thinking about all the random people that had to hook up in the past (your ancestors) in order to make you , if you think about the likelihood of that happening its like almost a miracle that you exsist at all . but if that hadn't happened axactly like it did then you wouldn't be here to marvle at it . yes Our universe works, its a very nice place if you consider what it could have turned into, but with infinite incarnations it was bound to happen eventualy, and all those other reject universes prolly didn't have anyone there to observe them and say “ damm our universe is a mess! what was god thinking ? ”
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM

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